Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lost and Found: BBQ

There are tons of things I miss about Texas, and local dishes are high on my list; primarily, Mexican food and good BBQ. Well, I'm stoked to report that we found a decent BBQ joint in Boston!Blue Ribbon BBQ is a local joint with locations in Newton Highlands (where?) and Arlington (next door to us.) It's won numerous "Best of" awards in the Boston area, and I can see why. The BBQ is tender and flavorful, and spot-on when you need a sweet fix.

Stephen sampled the three meat platter (chicken, burnt ends and pulled pork) with red beans and rice, and green beans. The burnt ends were good and the pulled pork was ah-mazing, but the chicken left something to be desired.

I had the Texas brisket platter with butternut squash and mac-and-cheese. The brisket was perfect. It was tender and literally just fell apart; my knife was hardly used! The butternut squash was buttery and delicious, and the mac and cheese was just so-so.
photo courtesy of chompster_2008

Overall, this place hits the spot for BBQ, and we're looking forward to going back.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Connecting with Thoreau

Stephen took me for a day trip to Walden Pond on Saturday. For those of you unfamiliar, Walden Pond is the area where famed poet Henry David Thoreau lived for two years (in a one-room shack!) to find inspiration. I had no idea what to expect, so naturally I ended up inappropriately dressed. Seriously, how was I supposed to know that we were going hiking through the woods and on a pond? Stephen said we'd be going ice skating! There was no ice skating, but we still had a GREAT day! I'm already excited to make a return visit in the summer (this time I'll be prepared).
My first time to walk on water (and then jump for joy!)

My excitement was contagious
Stephen drew me an early Valentine's heart
Hiking through snow in my tennis shoes
The site of Thoreau's "house" and S. demonstrating how small it is.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

New Year, New Mindset

My pal Becky wrote a post about embracing a word for a resolution. It sounds so much easier than resolving to change something about yourself and going gung-ho for the first few weeks of a new year, only to fail and be upset that you're a failure.

*On a side note, can I just say that I can't wait for the "lose weight" resolvers to quit so that my classes at the gym aren't so crowded?

So I've decided to embrace the one-word resolution. I can live with a word. Heck, I need to live by a word.

2009 seemed like such a tough year for most people. Sadly, at least for me, the challenges presented were met with negativity. That negativity festered, and resulted in even more negativity. People around me were negative too, and that fueled my negativity even more. But 2010 is a new year, a new decade. And a word,
one word, can make so much difference. So my word for 2010? My mantra, if you will.


For 2010, I plan to surround myself with optimism. I'm putting the good vibe out in the universe and seeing what will happen. Surely I will be faced with challenges, and there will be some days that are harder than others and I won't be as optimistic as I want to be, but I don't want the perma rain cloud hanging over my head again.

For 2010, I'm celebrating the little victories.

- My boyfriend is under employed, but he's at least got some income coming in.

- I'm enjoying going to the gym, even at 7 a.m.

- I'm going to the Dominican Republic in 2 months with Stephen and his family for some R&R, and I can afford it without dipping into my savings.

- I'll witness some of my dearest friends pledge their eternal commitment to the men they'll spend the rest of their lives with.

- I'm happy, I'm healthy, and my God is good.

Along the way I'll document the small victories I achieve. I can't promise it will be every day, but I'll try to make it as often as possible. And if you sense I'm getting a little down and negative in my posts, call me out. I promise I won't mind.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Caribbean Paradise

Doesn't that look lovely? These are the beaches Stephen and I will be walking when we head to Punta Cana for his 30th birthday. We'll be joined by his mom and sister for an adult's spring break at the end of March.

It seems that our trip to Puerto Vallarta last year sealed the deal of heading to a warm destination every winter. We did our research via CheapCaribbean.com and found a one week deal that was too good to pass up.

A little slice of paradise - can't wait!

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Sweetest Thing

Happy New Year! Wow, I can't believe how quickly the holidays came and went. Oh, who am I kidding? The years have been flying by recently!

Stephen and I had a GREAT visit with my family back in Texas. It was 2 years since I saw my family (the last time I saw them was right before I moved to Boston... yeah, I know, I'm a bad daughter) and it was so nice to be home for a while and see my parents. The best perk though? Meeting my nephew Rowan for the first time.

Look at this face, how can you not be in love?